Read for This Week’s Study: Matt. 6:25-33; James 1:5-8; James 2:15-16; Isa. 52:7; 1 John 3:16-18; Isa. 58:1-10.
Memory Text: “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man deals graciously and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion” (Psalm 112:4-5, NKJV).
As we have seen, the Bible is filled with passionate descriptions of God’s concern for the poor and oppressed, as well as calls for His people to work in their behalf. Despite the attention given to these issues, this biblical mandate has seen just sporadic and partial fulfillment and will be made complete only with the return of Christ and the supernatural events that follow.
Until then evil persists in many forms, fueled by the dark spiritual influences of the devil and his angels. This evil is often made most visible in poverty, violence, oppression, slavery, exploitation, selfishness, and greed. In such a world, our communities, our churches, and our families need to stand up against these evils no matter how hard at times it is to do so. In response to the love and commands of God, living in light of the ministry and sacrifice of Jesus and empowered and guided by the presence of the Holy Spirit, we must be compassionate, creative, and courageous in seeking “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Mic. 6:8, NIV).